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Same resolutions, renewed resolve

January 1, 2010By

In March 2009, I wrote a column, “What are you going to do with all of the time you’ve been given?” I concluded it by sharing my professional, personal and spiritual To-Dos. Looking in the rearview mirror, it’s clear that outside of a few sporadic successes, I fell a bit short working toward those goals. The resolutions were (and still... read more

A Cut Above: Donna Vignocchi

January 1, 2010By

Taking the high road is easier because it’s always less traveled. That’s a lesson Donna Vignocchi, president and CEO of Wauconda, IL-based ILT Vignocchi, learned from father Harry, who started the company 40 years ago. It’s one of the lessons she uses to run her maintenance company. TOP TRENDS  » Price pressure. The biggest trend right now has been the... read more

Miles of trials: Newest culitvars to be displayed

January 1, 2010By

Each spring since 1965, plant breeders and marketers have put their latest cultivars on display for a week in California. The event has grown steadily, and this year more than 40 companies will give visitors a preview of what will be available in 2010 and beyond. Though originally geared toward growers, the trials now are attended by representatives from many corners... read more

Sharpen your estimating pencil

January 1, 2010By

One of today’s biggest issues is the low-price environment that’s challenging landscape companies in most markets. This has been the case during past recessions, too, but perhaps not to the degree we see it presently. Usually, it’s caused by construction-heavy contractors trying to enter the maintenance market or grow that portion of their businesses to make up for declining construction... read more

Lawncare pro: Jerry Grossi

January 1, 2010By

It took Jerry Grossi and his partner Ed Dudgeon more than a few years to figure out the property maintenance company they formed more than 30 years ago would be more successful by concentrating on lawn care and landscape irrigation. Now, Arborlawn and Spartan Irrigation, the two divisions of their company, are well known throughout central Michigan. Arborlawn promotes its... read more

3 avenues to better manage pricing

January 1, 2010By

We live in deflationary times. Simply put, there’s less money chasing many goods and services. It’s the opposite of inflation, to which we’re more accustomed. What this means for you is that raising prices is a sure way to reduce revenue — and not having a plan to save the customer money will render you uncompetitive much of the time.... read more